Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Hodge thanks supporters and offers encouragement
No, we didn’t win this election. But we narrowly lost by one place, our opponents outspent us literally 10x over, and this 9.7% voter turnout election is the final catalyst for the Legislature to move spring elections to the Fall
In all honesty, the next best thing to winning, is losing with the peace and confidence that you did everything that you could. Friends and supporters, here’s a run-down of why the news of this election is actually quite positive:
- I’ve seen our campaign’s polling numbers, compared to the other candidates. Our message was what most voters wanted. My favorability percentages were quite strong. But most voters didn’t vote. If we had 20% turnout, instead of 9.7% turnout, and if a wider range of citizens had participated in this election, the end result would have been different.
- My campaign raised and spent about $6,000.
- We came in fourth, out of nine candidates. We needed to get into the top three finishers.
- The first-place finisher spent about $60,000.
- The second-place finisher spent about $60,000.
- The third-place finisher was a union-endorsed Democratic incumbent.
- The voter turn-out was once again very, very low: 9.71%. Public employee unions have an enormous influence over these elections, making it hard for fiscal conservatives like myself to win.
- To compare, in 2005 when I received first place out of four candidates, the voter turn-out was 30%.
- It wasn’t just my campaign that didn’t win. Fiscal conservative candidates all around Johnson County lost.
- The three liberal establishment winners received merely 52% of the vote. The six other candidates received 48% of the vote. This was in NO way a vote of confidence for the incumbents.
- Early on, the best that some of my opponents could come up with was that I “can’t win.” That’s quite clearly not the case. If I merely had spent 1/5 the money (rather than 1/10) of my opponents, or if this was in ANY way a normal election with a wide assortment of voters, we would have won.
What I’m quite confident of:
- The Kansas Legislature is getting fed up, knowing that the state legislators, themselves, are relatively representative (in their views) of the general public, but while the local governments everywhere are dominated by big-government liberals. State legislators know that it is not at all healthy to our democratic republic, when we have a 2008 and 2012 elections with 75% turnout, when we have 2006 and 2010 elections with 50% turnout — but when April after April, we only see 9-11% of voters go to vote. I am confident that this will change soon. Indeed, a bill passed the Kansas House just this year, moving Spring elections to the Fall.
- The JCCC Board will soon move to districts. Right now, we have seven far-left representatives on the JCCC Board. They are all elected in an at-large fashion. Once we move to districts (six districts and one at-large chair), this will lower the influence of big-dollar candidates, and it will enable fiscally conservative candidates to walk door-to-door, meeting voters face-to-face.
If you didn’t see the results, you can view them here at the County Election Office’s Web page.
Keep up the good work. Thank you so much for your support.
Thank you for your time, as always.
Kansas Representative, 2006-’08
Trustee, Johnson County Community College, 2005-’09
Kansas Republican Party delegate, 2009-’10
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters,the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).